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Ivory Coast Rebels Agree to Cease-Fire - 2002-10-04

Rebels in Ivory Coast have agreed in principle to a cease-fire. The accord is due to be signed Friday in Ivory Coast's political capital of Yamoussoukro.

Mohamed Chambas, the head of West African team of mediators that has brokered the peace efforts calls the agreement an important first step in the process of ending the two weeks old crisis.

Following an initial attack on September 19, renegade soldiers have taken control of much of central and northern Ivory Coast. Hundreds have been killed.

Thursday's talks took place in the rebel-held city of Bouake, about 100 kilometers north of Yamoussoukro. Mediators said the cease-fire signing ceremony on Friday would be held in Yamoussoukro with rebels coming in the city under the protection of French troops who have been deployed here over the past two weeks.

The mediators said once the cease-fire is in place, peacetalks would be held in which the rebels would get a change to explain their grievances and have them addressed.